Is This the PERFECT Absurdist Meme?

Is It Possible? Could One Bizarre Line Fit All?

by Joe Buonfiglio

MEMES: Those addictive digitally transmitted photos captioned with humorous expressions designed to lampoon or call attention to that which the creator feels deserves a little public ridicule or even societal examination. However, they often do not aspire to such loftier satirical ideals and just try to be funny for funny’s sake or, in my case, WEIRD for weirdness’ sake.

As a self-proclaimed “Literary Absurdist,” I found myself on a quest to create not just the perfect meme, but the perfect ABSURDIST meme. Was there one meme-formatted caption that could speak the language of Absurdism so well that it translated any picture to which it attached itself into the type of Absurdist-meme gold that would make Albert Camus or Salvador Dali sigh with utter joy?

While this may be an entirely unattainable goal, I nonetheless shall endeavor to make the attempt.

The absurdist phrase that my grey cells eventually concocted and settle upon:

IT IS A SAD DAY IN THE LITERARY WORLD
WHEN PLEASURING ONESELF CANNOT REPRESENT THE ARCHETYPAL CHARACTER ARC

To my mind, it is a flawless randomly bizarre caption. Now, does it express itself as the true representation of absurdist wonder by translating that arbitrary strangeness to any photo or illustration it adorns?

Let’s find out, shall we? Here are 25 images randomly selected (Yes, honestly!) from my digital library to use as backdrop in combination with the “perfect absurdist caption” to create memes d’ ludicrous art:

 

I think I’ve made my point.

You’re welcome, by the way.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

THERE IS ONLY SO LONG I CAN GO…

You may have noticed that Potpourri of the Damned did not publish on Wednesday (6/14/17).  That’s because things are heating up with the potential sale of my book, so I need to concentrate on that for a while.  However, look for it to publish in all its resplendent absurdity next week, because, in all honesty, there is only so long I can go without being weird.

While I’m on this little barely a hiatus, why not check out some of the fun stuff on my YouTube page: LINK TO JOE’S YOUTUBE PAGE — CLICK HERE.

Until next time, thank you.

— Joe Buonfiglio

WHO AM I?

(And It Ain’t Pretty!)

by Joe Buonfiglio

At this point in my life, I am fully cooked; I am who I am. Oh sure, a few changes here and there to sand down some of the shaper edges might be possible in the time remaining to me, my steps yet left to traverse the mortal coil. However, for the most part, I’m pretty much all in and playing the hand I’ve been dealt.

So, who — or what — is it I think I see looking back at me when I gaze into the mirror?

Sigh.

I have become an obscene thing; a vulgar ghost floating across the Earth giving the living the middle finger even though I know they can’t see me.

I am the last taco shell into which the overly greasy end-of-the-day meat has been placed and handed to some unsuspecting stoner through the roach coach window; both of us blissfully unaware of the emergency room visit that awaits us a scant hour or so from now.

I am the makeup upon the serial-killer clown’s face, unable to scream to the children, “Run! Do not accept his offer to take you to his funhouse just a little bit deeper into the woods!”

I am the night terror that was meant to be a premonition of what to avoid in the new day, but forgotten as the sun rises… and you board the plane uneasy, but trusting.

I am the wisp of flatulence camouflaged by the on-screen explosion that you hoped would render me unnoticed in the crowded movie theater, but which betrays you by silently screaming out with a stench to all in close proximity that you have once again fallen prey to your concession-stand chili-nacho fries addiction.

I am the ’65 pop-top Mustang that once drew every eye as it slowly cruised down the beachside boulevard on a steamy summer’s night, but now just slowly rusts into the earth nothing more than a nest for a few rats and one slowly dying rabid raccoon.

I am a malted milkshake ordered, delivered ice cold and delicious, but never consumed as the voice on the smartphone says, “I’ve got some bad news.”

I am the only barstool that no one is allowed to sit upon out of respect in memoriam for the one who virtually owned it years before, a tab now never to be paid.

I am the flypaper hanging in the old gas station that the interstate bypassed years ago, clinging to the illusion of purpose with the same futile tenacity of the station’s aged, sole proprietor.

I am the water theme park closed for the winter, eagerly awaiting the return of the children, unaware that the beachfront property on which I stand is far more valuable to the condominium developer’s 55+ plans than the laughter of children.

I am the cold beer opened, forgotten, and left to go warm and stale.

I am the paper graded with an “A” turned in the day before by the normally failing student, but never picked up as a sign of a potential turning point thanks to the lead foot of a teenager now part of a tapestry of wreckage down a ravine where his body won’t be discovered for days.

I am popcorn regrettably ordered without extra butter; a good idea not nearly as satisfying as it could have been.

I am the joke that was once funny, but over time lost its context and now barely makes sense.

However, I am a writer. I have hope. Every blank page makes me feel as if God to the universe I am about to create. That is why…

Why.

I am.

Still.

Here.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

THIS IS A TEST!

This is Only a Test

by Joe Buonfiglio

This is a test of the EMERGENCY BLOGCAST SYSTEM. This is only a test. Had this been an actual literary-absurdist emergency, you would have been directed to your nearest alternative-reality fallout shelter for cosmetic surgery to enable advanced melatonin levels in your genitalia.

Reality? Reality adjacent?

Not even close.

Look at this as sort of an experiment in the philosophical realm driven by the author’s punishing insecurity. Given this…

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Likewise, as a variation on a theme for this philosophic conundrum…

If a blog is written and no one is around to read it, was it ever posted?

Sure, Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “God is dead,” as did the cover of Time magazine query about the matter in 1966. But as philosophy and theology bang heads over the state of God’s health, the same dispute must be applied to the epicenter of the digital literati:

Is the blog… DEAD?

And if not the collective “blog” and those toiling away in the blogosphere, then what about that which you now read… or don’t (as the fallen tree might observe)? Has this blog, my child so aptly named Potpourri of the Damned, simply run its course? Have I gotten too weird for some of you, perhaps too political for others?

Am I only doing this for myself at this point? That possibility is a rather chilling prospect, I must admit.

I have a decent number of subscribers, but there are rarely any comments submitted by them. Is that natural? After all, I’m not a celebrity and you’re all busy people. I do sometimes wonder if you all follow me and this strange little blogtastic machine out of not sincere interest, but some warped sense of politeness? Although, in the modern age of social media, even the casual observer can see that doesn’t make much sense. Hell, do you even read the thing?

Is there anybody out there?

Perhaps that is an answer I’d rather not know, eh?

So, until next week’s post, PLEASE STAND BY….

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

 

TOO MUCH STUFF!

The Biggest Reason Why I Fear Death

by Joe Buonfiglio

I fear death.

No, please. Do not engage me in a debate about the existence of God and have I accepted your deity of choice and your path of spirituality as my only hope for salvation. This isn’t that type of blog piece.

No, I fear death because… I have too much STUFF!

It seems that over the course of my time traversing the mortal coil, I have accumulated and inordinate amount of— well — STUFF!

Oh sure, it all starts innocently enough. Grandpa gives you Keepsake-X from the first time you and he visited Place-X to celebrate Event-X, and then it seems hard to part with said memento after his soul or transcendent consciousness or inner-child reborn or whatever you believe is the driving engine behind our corporeal nature has left the Earth for whatever does or doesn’t happen to us after we depart from this Earthbound plane of existence. And if you haven’t already gone all religious zealot or existential on me, just think about that for a moment. You can probably remember that first thing you “collected” that started you on the path of your lifetime of stuff accumulation. For me, I believe this may have been the oversized Matchbox replica of an antique Model T Ford my Pop-Pop gave me to further stimulate my love of old vehicles. Yes, I still have it… sort of. Not able to part with it through embracing anything remotely resembling an acknowledgement that it is “just some old toy that’s taking up space,” I “gave” it to my son as — well — a keepsake.

And that’s how it starts; an accumulation of junk that gets spread out across your house as if rancid peanut butter across moldy toast. If this mighty assemblage of crap was ever all gathered together and piled item-to-item on top of one another, the stack of memorabilia and other insignificant trifles that mean nothing to anyone but yourself would result in a heap of sentimental rubbish easily compared to the classically clichéd height of the Empire State Building. Throw in a few house moves over the years where attempts to get rid of some of this amassed jumble turns into “The movers are here! Just box it and we’ll sort it out at the new place!” (which you never do), and bingo; the show Hoarders wants to start filming at your home next week.

After a while, you step back and look at what it would take to declutter and downsize your stuff, your life, and it can become more than a bit overwhelming. However, do not allow yourself to be deterred from this daunting undertaking; if not for yourself, for your loved ones. Because if you don’t take on the horrific job of getting rid of all your pointless paraphernalia, it’ll fall on your next of kin or best friend to do it after you’re dead.

So, give the ones you care about most the best gift you can possibly give them; the gift of not having to deal with all your stuff while they’re trying to mourn the loss of your selfish ass. Don’t let “I miss him,” and “What will I do without her?” become “I can’t believe I’m the one who has to deal with all this shit! It’s a good thing they’re dead or I’d kill them myself!”

Remember, they have their own shit to deal with… not to mention death.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

www.JoeBuonfiglio.com

The Earth is Flat (Like Your Head)

The Song of the
SCIENCE DENIER

by Joe Buonfiglio

As sad a commentary as it is for its people, the United States of America has clearly entered into the Age of the Science Denier. We no longer keep politics in the halls of government, keep God in the pews of church and allow science to guide us through the realities of the physical world. Those in power have not just pivoted away from our revered “separation of church and state,” but now impose the blurred line of the Church-State Theocratic Complex upon the fact-based laboratory of science in an attempt to bend it to the will of both God and lobbyist.

If the human race is to survive this onslaught of shortsighted, simple-minded idiocy, we must all fight back within our limited, but passionate capacity to do so. As I am a writer, my contribution to the cause is literary. So along with the brilliant musical composition, vocals and performance of Paul Austin Kelly, I humbly provided lyrics and Unintentional Martyrs™ was born. One of its best creations is the pro-science satire:

SCIENCE DENIER
by
Unintentional Martyrs™

 

Please explain what you had in mind

     When you said Global Warming ain’t real.

It seems you won’t be happy

     ’til Miami’s gone and our skins peel.

 

I guess what’s old is new again

     ’cause the Earth is flat’s what you said.

But it’s not our world that lacks curvature;

   The flat you sense is just your head.

 

Science denier, science denier;

     Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Science denier, science denier,

     Do you believe it’s all God’s will

Or did you just take a stupid pill?

 

Evolution is just a bad dream.

     There’s no way you’re a monkey’s son.

Darwin was just another jerk-off;

     Have those finches on the run.

 

Vaccines are of the Devil.

     They do more harm than good.

Then your kid came down with the German measles.

     Guess you somehow misunderstood.

 

Science denier, science denier;

     Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Science denier, science denier,

     Do you believe it’s all God’s will

Or did you just take a stupid pill?

 

You say dinosaurs walked our blue-green Earth

     Less than six thousand years ago.

And man saddled the beasts, rode them like tame horses

     At the Moses’ Dino Wild West Show.

 

Climate change just isn’t true;

     This is something of which you know.

It’s all only Liberal propaganda;

     Fox News done told you so.

 

You deny all the science.

     You drive bigger and bigger cars.

Thanks to you we must all leave the Earth,

     So now you can go fuck up Mars.

 

Science denier, science denier;

     Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Science denier, science denier,

     Do you believe it’s all God’s will

Or did you just take a stupid pill?

 

Science denier, science denier;

     Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Science denier, science denier,

     Do you believe it’s all God’s will?

 

Science denier, science denier….

Want to hear the song in its entirety? It’s on my YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM9xbx5Qp4w

Or, just listen here:

 

Wait. You want to OWN the Science Denier song FOR ONLY 99¢? Well, looks as if this is your lucky day! You can buy this and all of the great Unintentional Martyrs™ songs here: https://bamazoo.com/unintentionallymartyredmusic

 

Lyrics © 2016 Unintentional Martyrs™ All Rights Reserved.
Music recording/performance 2016 Unintentional Martyrs™   All Rights Reserved.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos/videos are © 2017 Unintentional Martyrs™ with All Rights Reserved.

www.JoeBuonfiglio.com

Potpourri of the Damned STILL on Hiatus?

THAT’S ABSURD!

by Joe Buonfiglio

Why are you looking here?  Don’t you realize Potpourri of the Damned is STILL on hiatus while I heal up? (Believe me, you don’t want to know.)

Okay, granted, it’s only for another week, so it’s not THAT big of a deal.

What do you mean, “not that big of a deal”?  YOU BASTARD!

Anyway, as Dr. Frank N. Furter would say, “Babies, don’t you panic.”  While I and my “creation” are on this short break, why not enjoy seeing me LIVE and in person!  Here’s how:

If you’re in the Chapel Hill, NC area on Friday, 5/12, I’ll be a guest storyteller onstage at 10 p.m. with the improv geniuses of MISTER DIPLOMAT at DSI (Dirty South Comedy Theater).

Read more about it here:

http://www.dsicomedy.com/calendar/2017/5/12/mister-diplomat

So that’s Chapel Hill, NC, Friday, 5/12, 10pm at @DSIcomedy

 SEE YOU THERE!

NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG

Top Ten Absurdist Reasons Why Nobody Cares About Your Blog
(or Mine)
(Which You are Currently Reading)
(So, That’s Kind of Absurd in and of Itself Right There)

by Joe Buonfiglio

Nobody cares about your blog … or mine. Unless you’re already a celebrity or at least celebrity adjacent, it’s absurd to continue to pound away on your wireless keyboard pretending that anyone other than close friends and family gives a shit about your most recent blog piece.

And BREAKING NEWS: They really don’t give a shit either. They just don’t want to hurt your feelings.

Even though it is SO painfully absurd to continue our vainglorious attempt to make a mark in the blogosphere, I’m okay with that because … well … I’M AN ABSURDIST!

I actually revel in the chaotically futile. Mindlessly blogging is simply a natural extension of all that. So with a loose hold on anything resembling reality, here are my…

Top Ten ABSURDIST Reasons Why Nobody Cares About Your Blog (or Mine)

#10: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE pepper-spraying camels is not an indication of evolutionary superiority.

#9: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE melted cheddar has not and will never cure male-pattern baldness.

#8: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE even though Ford’s Model T did come in red, the color black was preferred by viper trainers throughout Canada.

#7: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE Ponce de León couldn’t find Mrs. de León’s G-spot if his life depended on it.

#6: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE free trade shouldn’t be a matter of cucumber girth.

#5: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE the literary arts no longer take into account that pillaging is a forgotten craft.

#4: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE the Center for Disease Control is completely ambivalent in all matters concerning buttered-popcorn flavored jellybeans.

#3: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE the zipper is down on society’s collective pants.

#2: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BECAUSE springtime Frappuccinos should flow freely from a Panda’s ass, not be imprisoned until transactional payment is rendered unto the Starbucks Corporation. (refer to Starbucks vs. a Panda’s Ass, Third Circuit Court of Appeals circa 1864 following Brown vs. the Zookeeper’s Fantasy)

AND THE #1 REASON NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BLOG: The ghost of Richard Nixon tickles President Trump’s balls from the moment he falls asleep in the Lincoln bedroom!

So blog away, my fellow Absurdists; blog away as if no one is watching … because no one is.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.

“Stream” of Consciousness?

More like a Tidal Wave of Absurdity!

by
Joe Buonfiglio

So, I had this notion to write a “stream of consciousness” piece a la Jack Kerouac with On the Road, but in microcosm. The problem, of course, is that I’m a self-branded “Literary Absurdist.” Everything I craft tends to devolve into an unreasonably foolish manifesto; my attempts at stream-of-consciousness writing doomed to become a tidal wave of absurdity destined to walk with the ghosts of Kierkegaard and Camus.

Nevertheless, I feel the bold experiment is worthy of the attempt. Thus, I will now write down in the realm of the blogosphere my thoughts as they pop into my head without governor or censor.

Enjoy.

Why are Monkey Puzzle trees an accepted form of vegetation, but I tell people I drive a classic Barracuda and all of a sudden I’M the weirdo?

“Plucky” rhyming with “sucky” is just a coincidence? I don’t think so!

A candlelight dinner is romantic, but I burn down my employer’s place of business and suddenly I’m an “arsonist.”

Bite the ears off a chocolate bunny and you’re the life of the Easter-egg-hunt party. Bite the ears off a real bunny at the same party and you get 3-10 months in the county lockup for animal cruelty and child-endangerment through “traumatization.” WTF?

There cannot be a God, because if there was a God, you could eat all the meat-lover’s pizza you want without getting fat or gastroesophageal reflux disease complicated by bouts of uncontrollable flatulence…. … … I’m just sayin’.

Thinking about how many people are using toilets on a global scale at any given moment scares the shit out of me… … … which is more than a little ironic.

Why isn’t the male urinary tract a place to plant and grow penises?

Wait. Singularity is a state of space-time and not the condition of being perpetually unmarried?

Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth, but you catch me naked searching for loose change in your couch at three in the morning and that somehow makes me the bad guy.

Why tell people they can do “whatever floats your boat” if they are not nautically inclined?

Do owls know they are annoying?

Is reality a thing you win in the lottery?

Does whipped cream ever cry out in pain?

Does this look infected?

Just who the hell was the first one to consider pairing piss with vinegar, and did he or she prepare the takeout salad I’m eating right now?

Why isn’t “teaching the world to sing” the highest-salaried profession ever?

Shouldn’t God offer a lifetime warranty?  No!  Wait! An ETERNAL warranty!

Holy shit! Birds really do appear every time you are near!  Stop that.

Why don’t meter maids clean your car?

If I keep digging in my backyard — I mean REALLY keep digging down deep — will I eventually find my dignity?

Fuck salamanders with the knowledge to cure all human illnesses!  Am I right?

Clowns aren’t creepy … unless you find one in bed with your mom … after hours … in the middle of a department store … reenacting Lord of the Flies.

Mailboxes; what are they up to?

Son of a bitch, mom was right! If you do THAT you really will go blind! … … … Wait. No. The lightbulb just burned out. My bad.

Turns out I really am the only one who can prevent forest fires. And I’m sorry Sierra National Forest burned to the ground, but back off; as you can imagine, my hands are pretty full right now.

And finally, it all comes down to this: The only people who wholly understand the true nature of the universe are those who wash their clothes in a pay-launderette at three in the morning. Who knew enlightenment cost exactly $9.75.

Roll on, Cosmic Black Wave. Roll on.

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

JOE’S BAR (blog)

by Joe Buonfiglio

My Potpourri of the Damned blog started off as a simple idea. It was to be a weird forum for releasing upon an unsuspecting world the Absurdist tidbits of darkly humorous mayhem theretofore buried in the deeper recesses of my warped little brain; somewhere between a lark and a malady.

AND THEN ALONG COMES DONALD TRUMP.

This con-man simpleton overtakes my soul generating a combination of bemusement, fear and intense anger driven to the point of seditious hatred. Watching this orange-tinged putz and his idiot-convention entourage systematically clog America’s collective toilet by shoving all that’s good about this country down it with the plunger of his narcissistic Trumpian ego sends my fingers tap-tap-tapping furiously upon my computer’s keyboard to the point of rendering the action on the typewriter-esque buttons nearly unresponsive.

TRANSLATION: Our dumbass POTUS makes me more than a little crazy.

Next thing I know, I’ve endangered the absurdist-humor brand of my Potpourri of the Damned blog with numerous anti-45 rants.

In my last blog-post, I teased that this — my JoeBuonfiglio.com (AKA LiteraryAbsurdist.com) site — would be evolving into “Something absurdly wonderful. Something wonderfully absurd,” and Potpourri of the Damned will MOST DEFINITELY be a part of that. However, if my head is not to blow clean off my shoulders in a blood-pressure rush that could launch a ballistic missile armed with the most nuclear of warheads, I will still need to find a home, some suitable outlet, for all my anti-Trump, anti-societal-injustice, anti-anything-that-really-pisses-me-off-to-the-point-of-vigilantism rants. And so, welcome to…

When introduced into the new website coming within the next month or two, Joe’s Bar Blog will be the new home for me to … well … get things off my chest.

Joe’s Bar Blog will be written while I’m sitting at my bar (Yes, at the time of this writing, I own a bar.), and will feature whatever beverage I am imbibing at the time of the given literary endeavor.  For example, at this moment, I am sipping upon the cool libation that is a 12-year-old special reserve Jameson Irish whiskey on the rocks. Additionally, while Potpourri of the Damned comes out (for the most part) every Wednesday, Joe’s Bar Blog is written “as the spirit … and spirits … move me.” This creative process will most likely lead to such commentary as:

Hey, Alt-Right. Looks like your boy Trump is kicking you and Bannon to the back of the bus.

How’s it feel?

Ironic?

And…

You can’t even organize an Easter egg event? How the hell are you going to organize foreign policy … or a war?

And…

What are Trump’s plans for America? Follow the money. Slash the State Department’s budget; raise the military’s by billions.

Any questions?

As well as…

Listening to Donald Trump speak, I now realize that George W. Bush was relatively an outright intellectual.

And…

It’s 12:24 a.m.

… and Trump just dropped in to see what condition my sedition was in.

Not to mention…

The Right is devolving into Theatre of the Absurd. They believe in the Rapture, so get on with it; God can have them all ASAP.

Or…

Donald Trump criticizing Chuck Todd’s appearance is like the Alien calling the Predator ugly.

And…

“Remnants of treasonous criminality” refers to:
A) Trump
B) His administration
C) Me on the toilet the morning after 20-alarm chili night

Or perhaps even…

AGENT: “You’re ruining your writer’s brand with all this Trump shit!”

PEER: “Wait. You have an agent?”

WIFE: “Wait. You’re a writer?”

So keep your eye out for Joe’s Bar Blog in the new JoeBuonfiglio.com that is on its way to this space. As Potpourri of the Damned again reverts back to content designed to engulf your grey cells in that which is madly absurd, Joe’s Bar Blog will delve into that which will make you absurdly mad.

What’s your pleasure?

 

© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

All photos, art and logos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.